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Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers Great: NBA Career and Achievements

Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers Great: NBA Career and Achievements

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Reginald Wayne Miller is an American Professional former basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Indiana Pacers. Commonly known as just Reggie Miller, he was known for his great ability in three-point shooting.

Miller was born on August 24, 1965, in Riverside, California, and is regarded as the Indiana Pacers’ greatest player of all time.

Miller is also a Hall of Famer having being inducted into the Hall of Fame on September 7, 2012.

The 55-year-old attended Riverside Polytechnic High School in California and that is where his passion for basketball grew. He was born with hip deformities, which prevented him from walking correctly. After a few years of continuously wearing braces on both legs, his leg strength grew enough strength to walk properly.

During his early ages, neither his parents nor even siblings knew he would one day be one of the greatest players to grace the NBA league because of his deformity and the struggle he went through just to walk for some distance.

After high school, Miller attended the University of California Los Angeles, where he joined the basketball team and played in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for the UCLA Bruins, the University of California men’s basketball team.

He helped the Bruins to the regular championship title in 1987 scoring 247 points that season with 69 of the goals being three-pointers. It is important to know that the three-pointer goal rule was introduced at the start of the 1986/1987 season.

PROFESSIONAL CAREER

In 1987, Miller was drafted to the NBA by the Indiana Pacers as the 11th pick in the first round of the 1987 NBA Draft. After his selection, Pacers fans booed the then Pacers President Donnie Walsh for selecting Millers instead of Indiana native Steve Alford who was available for selection in the 1987 NBA  Draft, but in the coming years, Miller proved why Donnie Walsh trusted him for Indiana Pacers.

Miller was given Jersey number 31 while playing for Pacers and started his career with the Pacers mostly coming off the bench for shooting guard John Long.

He became a regular starter for the Pacers in the 1991/1992 season. The following season on November 28, 1992, he scored a career-high 57 points against the Charlotte Hornets in a 134–122 win at Charlotte Coliseum. Miller had 16 of 29 field goals and out of the 11 three-pointers, four were Miller’s. That season, only Michael Jordan scored more than Miller in the NBA when he scored 64 against Orlando. That record by Miller still remains the highest points scored in a match by a Pacers player up to this day.

In the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals that Indiana Pacers were playing against the New York Knicks, Miller hit the headlines due to a phenomenal shooting performance in Game 5 in which he scored 39 points as the Pacers swept aside the Knicks 93-86 at Madison Square Garden.

On May 7, 1995, Miller became a household name in the United States and even basketball fans across the world when he scored eight points in 8.9 seconds in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Knicks again leading the Pacers to a thrilling 107-105 victory. With 18.5 seconds remaining, the Pacers were still trailing 105-99 but Reggie Miller stood up and made two 3-pointers to give the Pacers the much-desired win setting up wild celebrations at Madison Square Garden. This series of performances against the New York Knicks earned him the nickname, the ‘Knick Killer’.

Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller holds the record for most three-pointer field goals in the history of the NBA.
PHOTO: Courtesy

The pacers knocked out the Knicks to set up a tie in the Eastern Conference Finals with the Orlando Magic. They lost the conference finals to the Orlando Magic in seven games just like in the previous year.

In the 1999 season, the Pacers were one of the favorites to lift the Eastern Conference title after Michael Jordan’s retirement. Pacers earned the number 2 seed spot heading into the playoffs. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they met the Knicks once again.

In that finals, the Knicks surprised the Pacers and knocked them out in six games. Miller recorded one of the worst performances of his career in the decisive sixth game scoring just 8 points on 3-of-18 shooting from the field. He also missed seven of his eight 3-point attempts.

In 2001, Miller-led Pacers advanced to the Eastern Conference finals once again. In the semifinals, they played against the Philadelphia 76ers where Reggie Miller and his teammate Jalen Rose, each scored 40 points becoming the highest-scoring pair of teammates in playoff history as pacers defeated the 76ers 108-91 in Game 1 of the eastern conference semifinals.

They again met the New York Knicks in the conference finals, this time defeating them 4-2 in a six-game series.

The Pacers led by Miller advanced to the NBA finals for the first and only time in the club’s Franchise history setting up a tie against Los Angeles Lakers that was led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

Pacers lost the Finals series 4-2, as Miller averaged 24.3 points per game in the NBA finals series.

On April 11, 2005, Miller became 12th on the NBA All-Time scoring list. On May 19, 2005, Miller played his last NBA match for Pacers against the Detroit Pistons as he received a standing ovation from the watching crowd.

Miller Record

Miller received a standing ovation from both Pacers and Detroit Pistons fans during his last NBA match in 2005.
PHOTO: Courtesy

CAREER AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Over his 18-year NBA career, Reggie Miller was unable to win the NBA title, however, he still had a stunning career for the Indiana Pacers taking them to the NBA finals for the first and only time in Franchise history.

He is a five-time NBA All-Star member, getting selected in 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, and 2000.

He is a three-time All-NBA third team, getting into the team in 1995, 1996, and 1998.

In 2002, he was named the United States Male Athlete of the year.

In 2013, the Indiana Pacers retired his number 31 jersey.

Reggie Miller also retired with the most three-point field goals in the history of the NBA.

In 2012, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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